The whole enterprise of professionalizing eSports took a step back, as two accounts have come to light of players not getting paid as promised.
Korean Starcraft player Ko Hyun reports being owned six months pay from his team Quantic Gaming eSports. The Canadian company’s CEO, Simon Boudreault, has gone missing since December 17, highlighting the difficult times the company had recently gone through.
In fact, Boudreault is believed to owe his active staff a total of $ 40,000, and this doesn’t take into account former employees who claim to have also been owed money. Hyun believes Boudreault may have simply given up on the venture, and was disappointed to learn he could have sought legal redress in Canada for free months after the fact. Under legal counsel, Hyun is now looking for Boudreault so he can properly sue.
In a disturbingly similar, but completely separate set of circumstances, TrackMania player Kalle ‘Frostbeule’ Videkull has come onto Reddit to air grievances against the tournament organizers called the ESWC (Electronic Sports World Cup). The ESWC promised to pay players for outstanding debt dating from 2008 last year, but let the year pass without making good on their promise. It should be noted that Kalle has no grievances with his Team, Acer, who continues to sponsor and promote him.
Kalle was personally owed $ 13,000 for said event, and although ESWC continues to operate, with very much the same people running said event, he does not have much legal recourse to take. This is because in 2008, ESWC was owned by a company called Games-Services, that went bankrupt over the year. Essentially, the tournament’s current managing company, Oxent, made the promise to pay gamers. However, they did so without any actual legal obligation to do so, in spite of making said promise.
Both cases highlight continuing struggles to professionalize the competitive gaming scene. Whether you use the name eSports or not, many of these scenes see gamers try to turn their gaming into a career, and they can only go so far if behavior like this continues to persist in their community.
Image is from Starcraft 2.